Dual citizenship, expired SA passport, can I enter on UK passport
  • That makes sense! Thanks very much for your time. Much relief :-)
  • DavidF , your comments above have been most helpful as I am awaiting my temp SA passport to be issued as it took 3 months for the Home Office to confirm in writing that I am a SA Citizen that they have agreed to issue it to me in in the meantime as I am travelling to SA in the next couple of weeks. I wasn't a 100% sure whether it was legal for me to travel on 2 passports, I have a British passport by birth and SA from citizenship but reading your comments you said that loads of people leave and enter Britain on their British and enter and leave SA on their SA one, so pleased to hear that! If anyone requires info from the SA High Commission in London I have been dealing directly Mrs Menezes and found her to be extremely helpful.
  • My son was born in Cape Town in 1992. I am British born (with British and SA Passports) and his father is Australian born (with Australian and SA Passports). My son has British and Australia Passports and when we left SA in 1997 to move to Scotland, I got a letter from the Home Office giving "permission to utilise a foreign passport". My son has never had a SA passport. He does have an ID no. though on his birth certificate.

    He now wants to visit his dad in Cape Town on an open ticket - he will be travelling on his British passport and I wanted to know if he will need a visa as he might stay more than 90 days. I still have the letter from Home Office, but its from 1997.
  • Hi, seems like there is a lot of people not happy with the SA embassy in London. I rung today and was given a very rude answer by a lady, they are not very helpful. My husband and I both have dual passports, have lived in the Uk for the past 12 years, our son was born here and only has a British Passport. Both our SA passports have expired. We own property here and never ever plan on living in SA again. Now we have a trip booked for DEC this year to SA for 2 weeks and what do we do? Can they refuse you entry? What is this talk about a fine? Surely they cannot do that?
    It takes more than 3 months to denounce your SA citizenship. What do we do? Take the chance and just enter on our British?
    HELP please
  • Hi Danny am in the same situation still searching for answers as well. If you do get an answer please e-mail me and will do likewise. Ta
    . mabenaw@yahoo.com
  • @Danny - why don't you just enter on your British passports as UK citizens? They won't know or care that you have SA passports.
  • Danny & gp4sure,
    I am in same situation - travelling to SA soon with a 'dormant' SA citizenship and expired passport. The SA High Commission here in Australia indicates that it can take up to 9 months to denounce your SA citizenship. However, they issue a letter that allows you to enter SA on your foreign (in my case Aussie) passport.
    I can only assume it should work the same from anywhere (whether it does may be another matter ;) I've attached the link so you can see for yourself.
    Hope it helps
    http://www.sahc.org.au/citizenship/Renunciation.htm
  • My son was born in South Africa but we live in the UK. He has a UK passport but I never got a SA passport for him. His UK passport says he's born in Cape Town. He is only going to SA for 3 months so won't need a visa. He left UK recently and arrived in SA on his British passport - got through Customs no problem (the Customs Official even mentioned that he could see he was born in SA and was he there to work or holiday - my son stated holiday and Customs Official told him to enjoy his stay). I was so worried after reading stories of not being allowed to travel to SA on a foreign passport if you're South African, but my son had no problems.
  • My daughter was born in Cape Town in 1986 to British Citizens - we moved back to UK in 1989. She has never had an S.A. Passport just a British one - we visited S.A. with her in 1998 and there was no problem. Now she is applying for a visa for Australia and they want to know if she has dual citizenship - Does she automatically have this with SA because she was born there?
  • From peoples personal experience, how long is a SA passport renewal typically taking at the moment when applied for at the High Commission in London...? I know that on their website they indicate 4 months, although I've heard that it sometimes only takes a few weeks... Thanks...
  • hi all
    here is my problem.im a south african and ive got residance in the uk.i want to go to spain to go and visit my girlfriend.
    i have 3months left on my pasport and im busy applyin for a renewal of my pasport.do i still need a visa to go to spain even if im a resadant of the uk??
    please give me advise because i want to go to spain in 5 weeks time!!!
    please please help
  • Hi Haasdaas

    This is a very tricky situation -- is your girlfriend an EEA national?

    You DON'T require a visa if you have a UK residency permit, AND if you are travelling to Spain to join an EEA national.

    The issue of your passport only have three months left before it expires also complicates matters.

    I think your best course of action is to get hold of your nearest Spanish embassy in the UK, and CAREFULLY explain your situation to them, and act on their advice.
  • Hi My sister is due to travel to SA on the 7 November 2011, she applied for her SA passport to be renewed 5 months ago, checked up with them regularly and was told that it was being processed. She phoned again on Frit 7 Oct, to be told they (SA Consulate) have now lost some of her documents, but acknowledge that they did receive them.They can issue her with a travel doc , so that she can come to Sa to visit our mom, who is ill., but cannot explain how she can leave SA to return to the UK. She has permanent residency in the Uk.
    Will she be able to get back into the UK on a temporay SA passport
  • Hello Janette

    Wow, what a horrible situation for your sister to find herself in...

    Unfortunately, she WILL NOT be allowed to enter the UK on a temporary South African passport. This rule was brought into effect earlier this year for 'security reasons'.

    I think her best bet would be to contact the South African embassy in London, explain her situation, and see what they advise.

    Otherwise, the best I can think of would be to get in touch with the Department of Home Affairs back in South Africa, and see if they can prepare a passport for her here, so she can pick it up and use it for travelling back to the UK. Of course, the process would have to be heavily expedited, but -- again, if she explains the awkward situation she has been landed in -- perhaps a plan can be made.

    Sorry we can't be of more help. Good luck, and please keep us updated on your sister's progress.
  • Dual citizenship issues clarified

    15 November 2004

    The government has appealed to South Africans with dual citizenship to use their South African passports when leaving or returning to the country.

    According to the South African Citizenship Amendment Act of 2004, that came into effect on 15 September, it is now an offence for locals with dual citizenship to use their foreign passports to leave or gain entry to the country.

    It is also an offence for a citizen, while in South Africa, to use his or her foreign citizenship to gain advantage or avoid a responsibility or duty, says the Department of Home Affairs.

    However, the new Act allows South Africans with dual nationality to freely use their foreign passports outside South Africa.

    A provision of the South African Citizenship Act of 1995, allowing the minister of home affairs to deprive a citizen of his or her citizenship for having used the citizenship of a foreign country, has been repealed.

    As a result, the need for exemptions or letters of permission from the minister to make use of a foreign passport has now been terminated.

    "The issue of deprivation of citizenship was inconsistent with the Constitutional right to citizenship", said Home Affairs spokesperson Nkosana Sibuyi.

    "Accordingly, we would like to advise all South Africans who have dual citizenship and do not have South African passports to apply for their South African passports at the earliest opportunity."

    The department said it was mindful that many affected South Africans might not yet be aware of the amendments and their implications.

    "We have therefore decided that affected South Africans departing or arriving through our ports of entry, attempting to use a foreign passport, will be issued with a warning giving them three months to obtain a South African passport", Sibuyi said.

    He added that authorities would not, in the meantime, prevent anyone from leaving or entering the country, provided they had applied for the relevant document.

    Source: BuaNews
  • I live in California and became a US citizen last year (after getting the permission letter from the consulate in LA). Got my US passport in 3 biz days plus they fedexed it to me! Of course my SA passport has expired and as SA does not allow renewals and takes 6 months to issue a new passport I will not be able to enter on it. My travel agent's advice - that I apply before I leave and have proof of application on hand at entry supports what the last commentator said. So I will be entering on my US and if asked, provide proof of application for SA passport. Plus I plan on having the permission letter on hand as well.
  • Hi guys,

    I have a question will I be in trouble with UK Immigration if I exit the UK using my British Passport, but using my SA passport to enter and exit South Africa, and then enter the UK with my Brisith passport?

    Will UK Immigration querry where have I travelled? If I told them I was in South Africa, will they ask why didn't I use my British passport to enter SA as there were be no stamps? I hope not to get into trouble with UK Borders with my British passport.

    Many thanks.
  • Urgent: how can I get the letter of retention, after the 3 month window has expired? I did not know about this letter in 1999 when I obtained my UK passport, now I'm in a difficult position if I want to retain my SA citizenship!
  • Hi All

    I hold dual nationality (British and South African Passports). I am due to travel back to South Africa, in exactly 2 weeks time and have just noticed that my SA passport expired in June. I have read the above comments and am now very worried that i could get refused entry or fined if i try to enter SA on my British Passport.
    I have a SA ID book, will they allow me entry, on the promise of renewing my SA passport whilst there, with my expired SA passport and ID book or should i risk entering on my British Passport. Also, if i enter on my British Passport, will i have to leave on my British passport as i believe this is when others have been questioned.

    Please reply asap, thank you in anticipation. Ryan
  • I have dual (UK&SA) and recently went to Ireland to renew my SA passport - it was cheaper to fly there from Manchester than getting a train to London!! I explained that I needed to go back to SA early next year and was told by them I should def not try enter SA on my UK passport! She said if I still didn't have my passport back within a few weeks of the time I have to travel, I should apply for a temporary passport which takes up to 14 days to come through

    They were VERY helpful, checked my forms and toook my finger prints. The best thing is they even answer the phone and you don't have to ring a premium rate number!! If you having any doubts or problems, I can fully recommend ringing them or if you can get a cheap flight to dublin, they do a walk in service (no appointment necessary) 9am - 12midday (double check times and days before you go)

    Ireland - South African Embassy
    Alexandra House
    2nd Floor
    Earlsfort Centre
    Earlsfort Terrace
    Dublin 2

    Tel: + 353 1 661 5553
    Fax: + 353 1 661 5590
    Fax: + 353 1 661 5582 (Consular)

    Good Luck!
  • Oh and for Bokkie - I always leave and enter UK on my British passport and enter/leave SA on my SA passport. It avoids a ton of questions and problems especially when you coming back into the UK.
  • CJS has the key, if you need to travel to SA and don't have an SA passport, just apply for a temporary SA passport, which is good for entering SA (and remaining in compliance with the citizenship act), but really useless for anything else. It is relatively quick to get at most consulates. Once you arrive in SA, then just apply for your SA passport at any department of home affairs. Home Affairs in SA have really jacked up their system, and produce SA passports in under 2 weeks now, even in non-major centers like Port Elizabeth.

    Those of you that have not applied for permission to have dual citizenship prior to being naturalized as a foreign national should be aware that the consquence of not doing this means loss off your SA citizenship, however, you retain permanent residence of SA, ie., you have the right to live and work in SA - in fact most of the rights of citizenship - with the exception that you cannot vote and don't have the right to a SA passport. Thus you would be able to use your foreign passport to enter SA and the fact that you have a national ID would mean you are able to remain indefinitly. I don't know how this works in practise at the airport, but that's what the act says :-)
  • I have just returned from London from the South African High Commission Office. Had a very helpful lady but a nightmare of form filling etc. If you were BORN in South Africa regardless of parentage etc.etc. if you wish to travel to South Africa you MUST have a South African passport. Check, for example, your British passport (I am a British citizen) and you will see place of birth e.g.Cape Town - that is what officials will be looking for and that will determine which passport you are able to enter SA on. You can no longer therefore renounce your South African citizenship or lose it because you fell under the old rules. In order to get a SA passport you have to be reinstated, if like me you still hold an old ID book , you have to get a new one. Because I need to travel to South Africa fairly soon because of family illness I have applied for a temporary passport - if you go in person it could take as little as 5 working days - and at the same time for a full passport - takes 4 months. I had to pay for reinstatement, new ID book, temporary passport and full passport - all totalling £97.00 or about R1 100. I had to take 2 copies of old ID book, SA passport which expired in early 1995, British passport, Certificate of naturalisation, marriage certificate and various forms. All these were certified at the High Commission Office and fingerprints were taken there. I wear glasses and although I checked that I could keep them on as they did not cover my eyes I had to run to Charing Cross station and have new ones taken in case they were rejected because of eye recogniton - so my advice DO NOT WEAR YOUR GLASSES - I have spent a fortune on ugly photos!!! If you do not want to go and pick up your passport you need a prepaid recorded?registered self addressed envelope as well - I only had one with first class stamp and as this was not acceptable will go up again. With trainfare from East Sussex for my husband and I plus sanwiches and coffee (no food or drink allowed while waiting at the consulate) it was a very expensive day - thank the Lord that when I get my full passport I will have 10 years before going through all of this again - SA passports cannot be renewed - you have to apply for a new one when it expires. Hope this helps someone.
  • I left SA in late 2008 on a UK Passport (holding dual nationality but no SA Passport). As I have just got my UK Passport, it was queried at Passport Control. I advised that I only had 1 passport and would apply for my SA Passport in the UK (they also viewed my SA ID Book). I've never been able to get hold of the SA Embassy (phone numbers and email addresses dont seem to work). I got back to SA each year for just under 3 weeks getting my 90 day visitor permit. I have thought of applying for my SA Passport in SA (through SA Home Affairs) but am not sure how long it takes and if I have to collect it from Home Affairs or if I can have it posted to my SA address (where my parents reside). Otherwise how long would they hold onto it as I could collect it a year later.
  • Hi

    I've read with interest all your posts. I was born in SA to SA parents and came to the UK in 1983 after marring a man who was born in Scotland and therefore was a UK citizen. At one point I had both UK and SA passports and used both as per previous posts. The only thing was that when I came back to the UK it was queried as to how I got into SA if there was no stamp on my UK passport and I was told I wasn't allowed to use both passports at the same time. My SA passport expired many many years ago and I have been using my UK passport each time I visited SA and so far no-one has queried it. I was not aware of having to get permission before becomming a British Citizen (which was in 1986). I still have my old ID book but have since changed my surname and haven't yet update it. I would like to do this but after reading the above posts I'm beginning to think it may be more hassel than it's worth. I realy don't know if I still have dual nationality and would be grateful if someone could clear that up for me.
  • Hi! I'm confused need help. I was born in S.A. came to work to U.K. as a nurse in 2001. I leave with my daughter and we both retained naturalization and british citizen. My big problem is my S.A. passport expired on march 2011 and I went to London for renewal. When they check my documents I was told that I didn't return the letter with payment for retention of my SA citizen. I lost my S.A. citizen and they took my S.A. passport and ID stamped cancelled. Iwas given a letter Acquisition of British Citizeship to produce at passport control with british passport when visit S.A.I received a letter from S.A. High Commission stated Loss of South African Citizenship to inform me that my non-citizen status has been recorded by S.A. home Affairs. I may apply for new identity doc.given new ID number. I dont know whether to go aheard or wait until I visit in Feb 2012. I am worried about my bank delails and in case they do some changes. Can anybody give me advise.
  • Hi All - has anyone used The Pienaar Group to renew their South African passport mentioned earlier in this string in 2011. Thanks.
  • Defo apply for retention as you will be given a new ID number which is a new number to remember! I have had some experiance with this as I lost my SA citizenship but then retained it again. I was born in California to A South African father and British mother. We moved ack to SA when I was 2 and I studied and lived there all my adolecent life. I then, after Uni, went to the UK and applied to UK citizenship on the back of my Moms status and did a Post Grad study there. I then applied for a US citizenship (this is automatic if you where born in the US) So now I hold 3 citizenships. I allways maintained my SA passport but when we decided to go back to SA to live, I found out I had lost my citizenship but could apply for resumption which I did. Becasue I did this in time I kept my ID number but have to leave SA on my SA passport and then depending on where I am going I use either UK or USA passport.
  • Hi all,
    My father is South African and mother a from Tanzania. I now want to relocate to South Africa and get citizenship of my father (South African) but the people at Home Affairs are givin me a hard time asking why I want South African citizenship. What must I tell them to convince them
  • I am a South African citizen. My father was born in London in 1932 at some stage during his childhood years he and his mother moved to SA. Since my father was born in the UK do i then qualify for citizenship? I am in the process of submitting my application for citizenship to the Local British Consulate offices but after doing some research I'm now thoroughly confused by whether or not i have entitlement to citizenship or not. My father died a number of years ago so I don't know what his circumstances were. I urgently want to relocate to the UK and since I'm over 30 have no idea what other options i have to do so.
  • Hi All,
    I am meant to be travelling to the UK in three weeks. I have lived in SA all my life but I have my British Passport. I went to apply at home affairs for a emergency travel certificate as my South African passport will not be processed in time. Will the emergency travel certificate and British passport be enough and correct to travel to UK and back again?
    Any input will be much appreciated.
  • Hi all, quick question
    I have a swiss and south african passport living in cape town and have never left south africa.
    Going on a 2 week holiday to UK in july, do i need visa when traveling on swiss passport? Should i only use my SA passport at the south african airports? What would be best?
    Any input
  • My daughter was born in South Africa in 1987. My husband and I are British born and emigrated to South Africa in 1980 and had permanent residence there. We all left South Africa in 2002 to return to the UK and live here permanently.Before we left South Africa I obtained both a British passport and a Child South African passport for my daughter. I didn't get any letters etc. My daughter's Child passport has now expired, and she didn't renew it to get an adult passport, and when she travels on holiday she travels with her British passport.

    She now wants to go on holiday to South Africa. Question is does she need to renew her South African passport to travel in and out of South Africa? or can she travel on her British passport? Her British passport says the town in South Africa where she was born.

    Can anyone advise?

    Thanks
  • Hi - My daughter has a British passport and a SA passport - she will be visiting the UK in October and I am not sure on which passport to send her - can she leave here on an SA passport (without a visa) and go into the UK on the British passport and vice versa coming back ? Not sure who to ask ?
  • This is what happened to me: -

    I acquired British Citizenship by Descent on 31/01/2012
    I DID NOT apply to retain my South African Citizenship
    On enquiries to the Department of Home Affairs they confirmed that I had LOST my South African Citizenship when I acquired British Citizenship.
    As I live in South Africa, they changed my ID number and put a Resident Status sticker in my British Passport.

    If the above applies, then complete a Determination of Status form and send in with your documentation. The DHA will do the changes.

    After that you can enter and leave SA on a British Passport. There is no need to renoune you South African Citizenship
  • ok here is my delma , I was born in the UK taken to Sa as a kid , I obtained my uk passport at age 16 .I had to apply for a letter from home affairs stating that I can use my uk passport ,passort expired a few years later , I renewed it in 2006 and moved back to the UK in 2007 , when left SA they stamped my passport and wrote section 26(b) in the exit stamp. got the lecture about getting an SA passport ........
    I returned in 2010 for my daughters wedding , I know I had problems at passport control( i was so scared I forgot what was said) I was armed with my letter and ID book and UK passport . they let me in ............... when I left same stamp applied (sec 26B) written in the stamp.
    will I gain entry again in March next year to see my kids for two weeks ?
  • Hi all
    Just wanted to endorse the Dublin route for getting your passport. My husband's passport had expired and we had heard horror stories from everyone we knew who went to London office. Got in touch with Dublin and the lady sent me back an email with all the required docs to bring.

    We decided to go to Dublin for a day trip on Ryanair (£20 tickets I think). The girls were great and friendly, the whole thing took 20 minutes and they even did his finger prints there... we then did a spot of sight seeing and flew back home that evening. We were also pleasantly surprised when 4 weeks later passport arrived by Royal Mail (we were at work but mailman left a slip and we had to go in and pick up at depot).

    Now we advise everyone who will listen to go to Dublin
  • I was born in the UK and have lived in SA since 1970. I have a SA passport and applied for a Visa. I was told I can not get a visa and I need a UK passport. I applied for my UK passport 13 November but time is running out. I need it by 26 December. What must I do.
  • My swiss passport expired last month.I have dual citizenship in South Africa.I am travelling to the UK on sunday and would like to know if i am able to travel into London with a temp Swiss passport.I need ideas.I should be leaving on sunday the 09/12/2012.......Please help me.
  • Just a heads up to all the South Africans in the UK.

    It's only taken just over a month to get my renewed passport back from SA House in London.

    Thank you South Africa House for providing a very slick and efficient service.
  • Hi, Not sure if anyone still reads this or can help me.

    Me and my girlfriend (SA born) are planning to travel to Durban in November this year and stay for a long holiday, she is in the process of getting her UK passport. Can we still travel in and out of SA fine in November when she gets her UK passport back? Any info would help
  • Alexmay92 - If you girlfriend is SA born then she has to travel into SA and out of SA on a SA passport She will need to exit the UK on her UK passport and re-enter the UK on her UK passport - (therefore she will need 2 passports).

    My daughter (South African born) and now living in the UK has just renewed her South African passport as she will be visiting South Africa this year. The process took approximately 3 months via post, having the documents, fingerprints taken, and photos etc verified a special Police Forensic unit here in Yorkshire who said they were used to doing this for the SA Embassy. My daughter has a UK passport through decent and will following the procedure above.
  • Hi

    My daughter has a South African and a British passport, she wants to visit family in the UK. Can she leave on her SA passport and arrive with her British in the UK. We did not apply for duel citizenship. Please help.
  • Hi
    I became a UK citizen in 2007 but did not know to retain SA citizen ship...now I have 2 kids with british passports and want to return to RSA permanntly. What should I do? I've been visiting RSA with my uk passport. My RSA passport has not expired.
    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks
  • I have a peculiar situation, Im a dual UK citizen /Citizen of a small African country.
    My sexy Wife is South African, and became British few years after we married.
    Our lovely child is Citizen of UK and my home country. whenever we are in SA, she gets a visa and so do I.
    My Wife has been able to enter SA on her SA passport on 2 occasions, we never declared that she is dual citizen(we were not asked).
    Now, she is so home sick and I will do any thing to make here happy, so We are relocating to SA very soon.
    Of cause, Im scared of SA and the crime and job discrimination against black foreigners, but, for love of my Wife and love of the SA weather, I will go.
    Question is, will I be able to apply for residence permit while in Southafrica on a visiting visa?
    Will I be able to get a job etc, has anyone experienced life in SA as a black foreigner?
    How did you sort out your residence permit etc and find work?
    Did you ever get robbed or shot at by trigger happy people?
    My Wife will of cause have to admit her dual status and lose her SA citizenship :(

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